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Windows RT vs. Windows 8 Could Burn Consumers

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the grandma-wants-the-one-with-internets-in-it dept.

Windows 297

Nerval's Lobster writes "The Surface currently available for pre-order runs Windows RT, a version of the operating system designed to run on ARM architecture. Windows RT looks virtually identical to Windows 8, which, like previous versions of Windows, runs on the x86 architecture that dominates the laptop and desktop market. Microsoft's early marketing materials aren't exactly highlighting that differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 — and as a result, there's a high potential for unsuspecting consumers to end up burned when they buy a Windows RT tablet expecting the complete Windows experience. But Windows RT won't support legacy Windows applications — instead, users will need to hope and pray that developers port those applications to the Windows Store, the only venue for RT-supported apps. Over at The Verge, the intrepid Sean Hollister asked eight Microsoft Store representatives about the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT, and received several confusing responses. 'To their credit, half of the representatives admitted that Windows RT wasn't as capable as Windows 8,' he wrote. 'The other half not so much. Moreover, those reps who did admit issues seemed dismissive of Windows RT as a whole.'"

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297 comments

I never expected my iPad to run OSX applications.. (4, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#41710081)

...and I didn't have to read a disclaimer from Apple stating "Will not run OSX applications"...

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710097)

Perhaps that because iOS really looks nothing like OSX despite having the foundation of it?

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#41710207)

Why, because of the menu bar? My wife's iMac desktop looks an alpha lot like her iPad, black background, rows of buttons/icons with shiny apple gradients across them.

I can see people possibly being confused by this, but these are the same people who are generally confused by everything involving choices in a computing environment.

The summary makes it sound like yet another conspiracy...

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41710251)

The two have gotten a lot closer looking of late; but that's because they've been iPadding the hell out of what used to be an endurable desktop OS...

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (2)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#41710461)

Agreed, I was horrified when people started talking about OSX and iOS merging - a sure sign of the apocalypse.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41710793)

What is especially jarring is seeing all the tablet-esque window management misfeatures at play even as it has never been cheaper to have a couple of big monitors on your desk. In particular, the behavior where 'full-screen' on one application causes all your other monitors to blank to a grey background [apple.com] can only be Apple's way of giving the finger to their remaining pro users...

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (4, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | about 2 years ago | (#41710393)

I can see people possibly being confused by this, but these are the same people who are generally confused by everything involving choices in a computing environment.

The summary makes it sound like yet another conspiracy...

I have to disagree:
1). Windows 8 and windows rt look identical, both with tiles and touchscreens
2). Both designed for tablets
3). Both released around the same time

windows rt devices are cheaper though, so when consumers go into a store and see two tablets sitting side by side that look identical running windows, they're gonna grab RT, take it home, and be furious when they can't install any windows software on it, only software designed for Windows RT will work. I see this as a epic fail for Microsoft, biggest fail since windows ME. I do not understand why Microsoft made two identical OSes for tablets, they would have been better focusing on windows 8

Only good thing though is these RT devices will quickly be sold at fire sale and maybe we can put Android on them ;)

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (5, Insightful)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 2 years ago | (#41710539)

I think you're wrong. I think people are going to buy the tablet and be satisfied with the software bumdled with it and what they can download off of the Windows Store. I think anyone concerned with legacy application support is going to know the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8. The lack of a DVD drive is going dissuade most people from even trying to load their legacy software. For the few people that do run into this issue, they can always bring their tablet back and upgrade to the Windows 8 version.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710637)

They're already sold out and now are on backorder.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/trending/2012/10/17/surface_sold_out_new_microsoft_tablet_on_backorder_before_oct_26_release.html

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 years ago | (#41710671)

It's debatable. I don't know many people expected to be able to run Microsoft Word on their Windows CE devices.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (2)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#41710733)

Android? You are weird.
A nice Linux with KDE is what this hardware needs.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710103)

...and I didn't have to read a disclaimer from Apple stating "Will not run OSX applications"...

And the Ipad didn't say 'OSX' on the front. This is being advertised as a Windows device, yet it won't run existing Windows programs.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#41710129)

That's the typical logic that a Microsoft fanbois would make that "I didn't realize I couldn't run iMac applications on my iPad - they both have 'i' in them - they must run the same apps..."

It's stupid whichever side uses the 'logic.'

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710143)

It's stupid whichever side uses the 'logic.'

It's stupid when you don't see the difference between 'buy this lovely Windows tablet*' and 'buy this thing from Apple that's kind of like an iPod but bigger'.

* Small print: which won't run any of your existing Windows software.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0, Offtopic)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#41710215)

Right, because THAT is how Apple goes about selling the iPad - "It's a bigger iPod."

LOL.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (5, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#41710195)

It's not as illogical as you think. I've had several people showing me their CDs and DVDs telling me to install them on their Windows phones because "it says Windows and therefore it does work, and you're just incompetent if you can't do it!" I do not even know how they expected to use Office or their games on a phone, but that's the thing with luddites: often times they simply do not have any idea about what they're doing.

With the above in mind I can easily see people being burned by the whole Windows RT - thing.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#41710225)

I agree, but these are the type of people who get burned by anything technological ;) (as evidenced by them wanting you to put Exchange Server on their phones.)

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (3, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#41710493)

There's a different scale here. Sure someone trying to install a standard windows program on a phone will fall down at any old technological hurdle. The two are designed completely different, look completely different, and interact completely different.

But ... RT vs Windows 8. They have the same interface (metro), they run on the same type of hardware (laptops / slates), they come with identical software pre-installed (internet explorer 10, email clients, etc).

It's really not a stretch to see that this is going to be a far larger problem then the usual "Oh my god why are you even trying to use technology" type of crowd.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41710567)

But ... RT vs Windows 8. They have the same interface (metro), they run on the same type of hardware (laptops / slates), they come with identical software pre-installed (internet explorer 10, email clients, etc).

And both look completely different from Windows 7. I think this anchors expectations for Windows 8 to be "Can this even run my software?" instead of "This obviously must run my software, it's Windows!" This is still bad for Microsoft, because it might reduce sales of Laptops people think won't run the software they're used to on their laptop. But I think the supposed confusion between Windows 8 and Windows RT is going to prove to be overblown.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

John Bresnahan (638668) | about 2 years ago | (#41710797)

I can't think of anyone I know who would assume that Windows 8 won't run everything that Windows 7 runs.

I've been warning people away from Windows 8 (in any form) for the time being, until it becomes clear how big a mess this is going to be.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about 2 years ago | (#41710263)

I take it from that, you're not as hyped up about the new and amazing Windows Really Trendy edition as I am?

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (3, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41710429)

If people don't expect the Windows Tablet to run Windows applications, then why is MS going to be selling a version that does in January? Don't you see that MS is going to need to make a concerted effort to let users know that this is THE difference between these two products, if the don't want people to buy the Windows RT tablet expecting it to run their existing applications.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710627)

That's the typical logic that a Microsoft fanbois would make that "I didn't realize I couldn't run iMac applications on my iPad - they both have 'i' in them - they must run the same apps..."

It's stupid whichever side uses the 'logic.'

Except, if I'm not mistaken, Windows 8 CAN run RT apps, but RT can't run all Windows 8 apps. So you've got two devices that look nearly identical to the non-obsessive eye, both in device shape and UI design, may have similar hardware specs, and both run what is otherwise the same OS, but one of them, for arbitrary reasons, won't run SOME apps the other one can.

Or in other words, iThingamajig apps don't run on OSX, never have run on OSX, and after the world bears witness to Microsoft's inevitable catastrofuck coming up, never will run on OSX. There's no confusion there, and I have yet to see anyone who legitimately thinks an iWhatever app should run on OSX*. But Microsoft is saying that SOME apps will run between their two OSes with seemingly arbitrary restrictions on which will do what to the untrained user.

*: Okay, it might also be because so few people have OSX devices compared to owners of iDoodads, but still.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41710269)

And Windows Mobile devices had Windows on the front.... was there a huge outcry from people who expected those to run desktop applications? I think the fact that Windows RT only comes on computers without a keyboard or mouse will be enough to frame consumer expectations that it won't run software designed for a keyboard and mouse. I think Microsoft will have the opposite problem of convincing people that Windows 8 runs the same desktop software as well as Windows 7.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710351)

Your comment might be correct but for the fact that Microsoft is selling both the ARM "Windows RT" version of the surface AND the Atom x86 capable "Windows 8 Pro" version of the surface. Sure the x86 capable one is a little thicker and a little heavier - but to the untrained eye they are about the same. Yet one of them runs most of their legacy apps and the other won't run any of them. True the pro version won't be out until December or January - but it will be confusing as all hell for people.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41710523)

I agree it will be confusing, but not in the way everyone here is assuming. The overwhelming reaction from people when I show them my old tablet PC running Windows 8 is not "Oh, the obviously must be able to run my old software!" but is instead "Is this really windows? Can it even run my old software?"

Windows 8 looks so different from Windows 7, especially on a tablet, that people (at least in my experience) don't automatically assume it will run regular Windows applications. I think this is going to burn Microsoft in the opposite way everyone here is predicting.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710115)

Well.. It helped that the thing wasn't called "iMac RT".

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710121)

But the iPad is advertised as having "iOS", not "Max OS X QF".

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41710127)

...and I didn't have to read a disclaimer from Apple stating "Will not run OSX applications"...

I had to crush the hopes and dreams of more than a few who didn't successfully draw that inference...

Also, that was called 'iPad' rather than "OSX AR on Apple iPad"...

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

misnohmer (1636461) | about 2 years ago | (#41710829)

Yes, but they were all called Apple iPad, Apple iPod, Apple iPhone, Apple iMac - why does "Windows*" imply to you cross-compatibility but "Apple i*" does not?

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (5, Insightful)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | about 2 years ago | (#41710163)

A Mac has "Mac" in its name (Mac mini, MacBook, iMac, etc). Its operating system is called "OS X".
An iPad doesn't have "Mac" in its name. Its operating system is called "iOS".
Hardware and software both have different names, there's no confusion.

Windows RT has "Windows" in its name, just like "Windows 98", "Windows XP", "Windows Vista" or "Windows 7". The Windows OS had names with numbers, letters, words... it's not constant, so "Windows (something) = Windows" for most people. And Windows RT certainly won't be an exception.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710641)

apple macBook
apple iPad
????

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710197)

Yeah, but did you expect your ipad 3 to run ipad 2 applications? Microsoft is selling two different tablets here, one that runs on x86, and one that doesn't.

Difference: They still call both Windows. (5, Informative)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41710209)

Macs Run OS X.
iPad Runs iOS.

x86 and ARM machines both run "Windows 8".

Here is a perfect example of this SNAFU:

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/category/windows-tablets/31088.aspx?path=6d56ed26a8e2432d145864a8ee45cd37en01 [futureshop.ca]

This is the biggest Electronics retailer in Canada (does link work outside Canada?).

The First two tablets listed, both $599, Both look physically the same. Both have the exact same blue screen "Windows 8" logos on their screen.

There is absolutely no way that you can know by looking at any of the information at this level, that one of these tablets in x86 and will run legacy applications, and the other is ARM and won't.

If you go to each product page you can find in the fine print of specifications that one runs Intel, the other Tegra and one is Windows 8 RT. Which is incomprehensible nerd speak to most people.

It is that fact that they look the same, are marketed the same with the same graphical "Windows 8" is going to confuse almost everyone that isn't a hard core nerd.

Re:Difference: They still call both Windows. (5, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#41710403)

x86 and ARM machines both run "Windows 8".

x86 runs Windows 8
ARM run Windows RT

And if you look at the tech specs, one is identified as using OS:
Windows RT, the other is identified using OS Windows 8.

Now that said, I agree 100% that most consumers won't catch that.

But I really think that in this case ***Futureshop*** is confusing customers, not Microsoft.

Those stock photos showing the Windows 8 logo were not likely provided by ASUS for the RT product. Reading the Asus product anouncement for the Vivo Tab, and Vivo Tab RT -- the Vivo tab talks about windows 8 experience all over the place. While the Vivo Tab RT announcement talks about windows RT and doesn't mention Windows 8 anywhere at all.

There is definitely going to be confusion, but Futureshop is the one making the mess here.
Not Microsoft, not even Asus.

future shop is best buy and they only want people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710557)

future shop is best buy and they only want people working there who can sell over knowing about tech.

Re:Difference: They still call both Windows. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710417)

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/category/windows-tablets/31088.aspx?path=6d56ed26a8e2432d145864a8ee45cd37en01 [futureshop.ca]

This is the biggest Electronics retailer in Canada (does link work outside Canada?).

No. Canada operates on the Internet CA which isn't compatible with any other country.

Re:Difference: They still call both Windows. (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41710435)

Yes, but which way are they going to be confused?

Most people here are arguing that the Windows name will make them think they can run desktop apps on their tablet. I think the opposite will happen: Metro looks so different from classic Windows, and the form factor is so removed from a desktop/laptop, and Apple has conditioned people that tablets get apps from appstores, that I fell not many people will expect to be able to install their software on the machine, despite it being called "Windows." Especially consider the last point, that the expectation now is that tablets run tablet apps, thanks to Apple. This point especially I feel frames the expectations consumers will face when considering a Windows tablet.

However If they do in fact expect a Windows RT tablet will run their legacy software, I foresee them also pausing to ask the following questions before purchasing:

how do I install my old software without a DVD drive?
how do I use my old software without a mouse?
how do I use my old software without a desktop?

I think Microsoft will face the opposite problem where they have trouble convincing people that Windows 8 on desktops will run legacy software. I've installed Windows 8 on a few family computers so far and shown it off to my friends, and the number one question was "Will this run all my old software?" It wasn't assumed at all.

Re:Difference: They still call both Windows. (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#41710471)

Trying to explain processor architecture and market segmentation to an already mad consumer returning the RT tablet because it won't run x86 apps? "But sir, the instruction set..." Ugh. I would have to quit there and then to protect my sanity.

Re:Difference: They still call both Windows. (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#41710509)

Windows 8 RT

Incorrect. The product name is "Windows RT", not "Windows 8 RT". Microsoft never confuses the two terms (although resellers are doing so).

That said... Microsoft would be wise to get out in front of this. Allowing resellers to call their products "Windows 8 RT", or to display Windows 8 on an ARM tablet, is not responsible and will cause confusion even if Microsoft is clear in their own usage.

Re:Difference: They still call both Windows. (1)

Dracos (107777) | about 2 years ago | (#41710521)

Plus consumers expect Windows === Windows. Even during the NT + 9x parallel Windows version paths (which were merged as of win2k, almost 13 years ago), the amount of software that would not run on both lines was for the most part not exposed to consumers.

The Win8/WinRT dichotomy will be baffling to anyone who isn't technically savvy enough to know there are different chip architectures, and retailers will find it difficult if not impossible to effectively explain the difference, if they even know it.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (4, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41710253)

This is my expectation as well. My prediction is that because Metro looks so different from traditional Windows, and the form factor is completely different from a desktop, no one will be going in with the expectation that Windows RT tablets should run desktop software. Take a look at what Steve Jobs said about the original iPhone in 2007:

Now how do we do this? Well, we start with a strong foundation: iPhone runs OSX. Now, why, why would we wanna run such a sophisticated operating system on a mobile device? Well, because it’s got everything we need. It’s got multi-tasking. It’s got the best networking. It already knows how to power manage. We’ve been doing this on mobile computers for years. It’s got awesome security. And the right apps.

Also on their product page:

iPhone uses OS X, the world’s most advanced operating system. Which means you have access to the best-ever software on a handheld device”

They unequivocally stated that iPhone runs OS X, yet hardly anyone reasonably expected desktop OS X software to run on the iPhone. I argue that this is because iOS looks so different from OS X and that the form factor is so much different from a Desktop. Since then, Apple has trained people that on tablets, you get your software from Appstores. I think people will look at Windows tablets and have the same expectation, despite that it's called Windows. Again, how many people expected Windows Mobile or Windows Phone would run desktop Windows applications?

In fact, what I predict is that Microsoft will have the opposite problem: convincing people that Windows 8 on desktops will run desktop applications. You see that confusion here on Slashdot all the time.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 2 years ago | (#41710533)

In fact, what I predict is that Microsoft will have the opposite problem: convincing people that Windows 8 on desktops will run desktop applications. You see that confusion here on Slashdot all the time.

Exactly. RT launches first as 'the new windows'. People buy it, find it doesn't run their software - Windows 8 gets the same reputation, in much the same way as Vista's image was left tattered even after they had fixed most of the initial problems with it.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (2)

will_die (586523) | about 2 years ago | (#41710309)

Well I am upset that the iOS on my touch would not provide routing, switching, internetworking and telecommunications functions.
There should of been a warning that this one did not provide that.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41710315)

...and I didn't have to read a disclaimer from Apple stating "Will not run OSX applications"...

That's because the things thta run OS X applications are called "Macs". Like a Mac Mini. iMac. Mac Pro. Macbook Pro. Macbook Air. And all combinations thereof . "Mac" is part of the name.

iPad and iPhone? There's no "Mac" in the name, so no expectation to run Mac apps. There's an expectation to run iPhone apps on iPad, and probably the other way around too (which doesn't work unless it's universal).

Hell, I bet there are more people complaining they can't run MacOS Classic apps (or OS X PowerPC) apps on their Macs these days than people complaining about iOS apps working on their Mac or vice-versa.

Even the iOS things in OS X like the launcher aren't shown on first boot unless you click on them, further accentuating the difference.

Windows RT though, looks a lot like regular x86 Windows. And I'm sure people think Windows apps should run on Windows. Windows 8 RT and Windows 8? It's bound to be horrendously confused. After all, there's what, Windows 8 RT, Windows 8 Standard, Windows 8 Professional?

Hell I've had people ask about running Windows apps back when I worked on Windows CE.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41710625)

Apple never used the Macintosh or MacOS branding in conjunction with the iPhone or iPad. In contrast, Microsoft insists on misleadingly using the same OS name – Windows – for both products.

Re:I never expected my iPad to run OSX application (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41710773)

Well, they have different OSes (MacOS vs iOS), a different UI (static icons vs a regular desktop), so you'd have to be really dumb to confuse them.

Both Windows 8 have essentially the same name, exactly the same UI... the difference is much less obvious. Especially since Windows has always existed in a plethora of compatible versions (Home, Pro, Entreprise, Ultimate, Media Center...) only the one and only RT flavor of Windows is incompatible with all those other versions.

A terrible mistake. (5, Informative)

man_ls (248470) | about 2 years ago | (#41710085)

Microsoft is making a terrible mistake by not trying their absolute hardest to optimize the heck out of the Common Language Runtime for ARM. I don't think anyone would expect a tablet to be an acceptable desktop replacement machine - nobody thinks that of an iPad - but the fact they're not leveraging an existing architecture to bring application compatibility to the RT is going to cause major consumer headaches. No "native" apps would be a fine limitation, but they really should have the .NET CLR available for developers.

I occasionally chat with a few Microsoft SDEs who are directly involved in the development of native RT apps, and it usually goes something like this: "ARM is fucking terrible, it's weak and powerless!" "How come other platforms, including Linux, can run on ARM successfully?" "ARM isn't powerful enough to run Windows applications, that's what we mean. That's why we have to rewrite everything to be more highly optimized for these few Windows RT apps." "So, the reason Windows RT can't run Windows apps is because most Windows software is so bad, it wouldn't perform acceptably on something being run at its limits?" "Pretty much."

Re:A terrible mistake. (2)

parlancex (1322105) | about 2 years ago | (#41710131)

I think the logic here is that it would be pointless to port the CLR when the majority of .NET applications have bindings to x86 native DLLs / modules anyway.

Re:A terrible mistake. (2)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | about 2 years ago | (#41710149)

I think the logic here is that it would be pointless to port the CLR when the majority of .NET applications have bindings to x86 native DLLs / modules anyway.

I'm not familiar with .net, But I thought the purpose of it was to be cross-platform?

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#41710183)

And? You can still use native code and Win32 through P/Invoke which many apps do. It's no different than Java apps I've seen that have ties to Windows through tying their app to some Windows library they call through JNI.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#41710193)

So was java. How many corporate apps in the office that require Java only work on Windows or IE 6/7? 90% of them.

As long as developers have a target audience they will always insert quirks and proprietary code that only works on platform x, hence same reason intranet software and portals still only work in IE 6.

Re:A terrible mistake. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710205)

I never understood the appeal of these interpreted languages. I've always been a fan of native code....if you use cross-platform libraries like Qt or GTK you can build your app for any OS.

Re:A terrible mistake. (4, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#41710239)

1. .NET languages are JIT compiled not interpreted.
2. GTK and Qt don't work for all OSes.

Re:A terrible mistake. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710311)

GTK and Qt run on Windows, OS X , and Linux. That covers practically everyone. If you have to develop on some obsure architecture you could always roll your own Qt or GTK environment since the source is available.

As far as JIT compilation, I prefer doing a simple ./configure + make + make install. That gives me a nice clean executable I can package and distribute. It's just so easy. If my install package includes all library dependencies, I can be certain that my app will just work on the system it was built for... no need to worry about a user getting errors because they don't have some clunky runtime installed. (I really hated that about Java and .NET)

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#41710371)

GTK and Qt run on Windows, OS X , and Linux. That covers practically everyone.

Well except for the billion smartphones and tablets. GTK has no official port for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 7/8. Qt only has unofficial, incomplete ports to Android and iOS and no Windows Phone 7/8 or WinRT support. Thosenare hardly "obscure platforms" and why would I bother with them if I have to roll my own? Porting either is nomtrivial matter.

Your comment about JIT compilation is also silly. You still build an application that you distribute and any smart installer checks dependencies and will install any redistributables it needs. You sound like an amateur if you can't handle something so basic.

Re:A terrible mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710227)

The purpose was to be able to run it on the cloud, back before "the cloud" was something. That's why they called it .net, it was supposed to be one piece of the whole system that was integrating your computer with the network.

Eventually that all got scaled back, and Azure is a mere shadow of what was envisioned, as everyone builds web apps now.

Re:A terrible mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710261)

It is cross platform - it works on any platform that runs Windows on x86...

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#41710287)

And on x86_64 and ARM devices when using the Micro Framework.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 2 years ago | (#41710291)

I'm not familiar with .net, But I thought the purpose of it was to be cross-platform?

I always felt the purpose of .Net was to give MS devs a managed language. Either way, the purpose of C++ was to be cross platform. But a lot of C++ code has some x86/x64 specific parts, making many C++ programs difficult to port.
The main reason why I think .Net programs aren't allowed to run is because they expect "normal" computer resources and thread scheduler. But WinRT isn't designed like that at all. There is a very unfair thread scheduler that really is trying to conserve energy. While I imagine there are builds of .Net that run on ARM, Microsoft only wants apps written with the intentional limitations of WinRT running on Windows RT. I think it's less of an ARM vs. x86 issue, and more of a expectations of a general computer vs. expectations of a power conscientious appliance.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

man_ls (248470) | about 2 years ago | (#41710363)

I'll have to ask about that next time we're arguing about ARM vs X86. Although I know these guys well enough to extract tiny bits of proprietary information on occasion (such as the conversations I cited originally), I suspect the details of the thread scheduler may be more severely verboten to outsiders such as myself.

Re:A terrible mistake. (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41710447)

Yes, but when Microsoft says something's cross platform they mean it will work on various flavors of Windows x86.

Normally you hear "cross platform" and think "gee, it'll run on my ARM Linux box, my x86 FreeBSD box, my Solaris enterprise-grade server, and Windows" but you're thinking in the wrong way when it comes to MS's special definition of cross-platform.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

KliX (164895) | about 2 years ago | (#41710651)

No, the purpose was mainly rapid application development.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 years ago | (#41710709)

But I thought the purpose of it was to be cross-platform?

It is cross-platform. It'll run on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 8.

What other platforms are there?

Re:A terrible mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710189)

Do you have a reference for "the majority of .NET applications have bindings to x86 native DLLs"? You may be right, but I would like to see the numbers.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710233)

If you look at something as simple and ubiquitous as zlib for .zip compresion, there's no .NET version so if you want to use it you have to call native code. I'd imagine that pretty much any non-trivial .NET program has some kind of dependency on a third-party library like that which would have to be ported to ARM. It's not like there's been any need to worry about it since Microsoft dumped the non-Intel versions of NT, and the history of Windows apps should have told us by now that few Windows developers worry about things they don't have to worry about.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

man_ls (248470) | about 2 years ago | (#41710191)

Not being an SDE myself, I wasn't aware of that fact - I assumed the point of the CLR and the entire managed code paradigm of .NET precluded such native dependencies.

Re:A terrible mistake. (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#41710211)

Nope. Native code is extremely easy to call through P/Invoke. It's the .NET equivalent of Java's JNI.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

parlancex (1322105) | about 2 years ago | (#41710231)

It does, kind of.

Assuming you can write your application with references to libraries only included in the vanilla .NET framework, the only native libraries your code requires are platform libraries which Microsoft could have an implementation for in the target architecture. You can however (and many application developers do) choose to link your .NET application with as many native unmanaged modules as you'd like, for performance or some functionality not found in framework.

Re:A terrible mistake. (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#41710869)

ah the cross platform dream of .Net, run your application 32-bit and 64-bit Windows!

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710161)

Plenty of .NET apps use P/Invoke to access Win32 APIs or native code libraries, though, or require on libraries that do the same. This is before you get into the fact that .NET itself has strong ties to Win32 and making applications even source compatible would be a huge effort. And the whole point of WinRT is to break that tie so you'd only get a gimped version of .NET and so any major app would probably have to rewrite huge chunks anyway.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about 2 years ago | (#41710167)

I don't get it; I believe the Zune HD and Windows Phone had somewhat limited versions of the .NET CLR, and they were both ARM based. What is MS's problem here?

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#41710219)

Nothing. You can use .NET on WinRT.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#41710267)

But Joe SixPack will not. He will see this and think "Uh cool it is Windows and I can run my stuff" and then look at the Windows 8 machine next to it that costs twices as much.

Which one will Joe Six Pack at Walmart buy? If you answered the cheap one correct! Then he will wonder why his software wont run.

I mean there is no documentation anywhere. Windows is Windows to consumers and they do not understand how assembly and binary code differ between machines. All they know is software made for a mac will run on and mac and software for a pc will run on a pc.

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 2 years ago | (#41710565)

I think you underestimate Joe Sixpack.

Re:A terrible mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710593)

The same Joe SixPack who bought those Pentium IVs because they were 3.0 ghz and not the faster AthlonXps that were 2.2 ghz Joe Sixpack right?

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41710313)

I don't get it; I believe the Zune HD and Windows Phone had somewhat limited versions of the .NET CLR, and they were both ARM based. What is MS's problem here?

gp is not right. it's the lack of native(and filesystem access.. and lack of other types of access) that was hampering zunehd/winpho7 apps the most, not any "no .net" nonsense. it's the no native part (and gimped multitasking) which was forcing the gimped apps on wp7(leaving game devs to come up with solutions to cheat or gimp their games or just not porting them at all, there's a reason why android and ios have GTA III..).

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41710245)

I occasionally chat with a few Microsoft SDEs who are directly involved in the development of native RT apps, and it usually goes something like this: "ARM is fucking terrible, it's weak and powerless!" "How come other platforms, including Linux, can run on ARM successfully?" "ARM isn't powerful enough to run Windows applications, that's what we mean. That's why we have to rewrite everything to be more highly optimized for these few Windows RT apps." "So, the reason Windows RT can't run Windows apps is because most Windows software is so bad, it wouldn't perform acceptably on something being run at its limits?" "Pretty much."

Well, yeah, but haven't we known this for, like, decades? The only thing that hasn't absolutely crushed the Windows experience is that the hardware has somehow managed to keep up with the requirements of the OS. When the netbook phenomena started, Microsoft had a very difficult time playing in that space until the netbook was re-imagined as a low-ish end laptop. Even though the early netbooks ran Linux just fine.

Re:A terrible mistake. (0)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41710277)

When you can't write efficient code you need every platform to have insane battery killing performance and huge storage to overcome your proficiency shortfall. That is why Windows tablets have always sucked. With a 12GB default load on Surface RT it is clear they still don't get it. It is beginning to seem that the issue is they just aren't capable of solving this problem, ever.

Re:A terrible mistake. (4, Interesting)

nzac (1822298) | about 2 years ago | (#41710325)

I suspect the main reason is even though you may have to get a stopwatch out to tell the difference on a desktop, CLR/.NET does not have native performance which will show when you try to run them on thin (as in mm) devices. Most significantly you probably need to fit twice as much RAM in the case, i would guess memory bandwidth and cache sizes also are not friendly to performance and it would cost users battery time as no one would use the low power APIs.

The other things i can think of is that they don't want rushed ports to Metro and maybe it was easier to start from scratch.

Re:A terrible mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710459)

So ARM is inferior to x86 as far as Windows in concerned, so avoid Windows RT.

What's so hard about that?

Re:A terrible mistake. (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about 2 years ago | (#41710469)

Well I'm one of those who's looking at an Acer W500 Tablet as a desktop replacement. Yes it'll handle my desktop needs with the exception of storage but with a NAS at home, why do I need more then enough capacity to handle a limited set of local files anyway? The nice thing is the AMD APU is powerful enough to actually run my primary game (Guildwars), thus it is quite capable of functioning as a desktop replacement for me. Hell I rarely use word anymore since I've got OneNote installed and it offers the functionality that I really need from word.

RT = ReTard (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710159)

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , "The RT acronym does not officially stand for anything." I predict that people will quickly take RT to stand for "ReTard" when they realize that Windows RT fails to run Windows software.

Re:RT = ReTard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710259)

I'm doing this now. Thanks!

Re:RT = ReTard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710265)

Real Turd

Re:RT = ReTard (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41710381)

Royal Turd

FTFY

Re:RT = ReTard (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 years ago | (#41710745)

I thought it stood for RISC Technology [wikipedia.org] ...

To be expected (0)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41710185)

> Over at The Verge, the intrepid Sean Hollister asked eight Microsoft Store representatives about the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT, and received several confusing responses.

And I would submit that this is intentional. The more the waters are muddied about the differences between the two operating systems, the larger the potential launch volume. And then you have a bunch of people out there who already own the product and are trying to make it work, giving additional motivation to vendors to port to it.

It's genius, although the kind of genius you pour out of a bottle.

Re:To be expected (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41710407)

The more the waters are muddied about the differences between the two operating systems, the larger the potential launch volume.

So, If I've got what you're saying right, they want people to be confused... because it will make them more likely to buy both types?

And then you have a bunch of people out there who already own the product and are trying to make it work, giving additional motivation to vendors to port to it.

Huh? ^ Fails to parse.

It's genius, although the kind of genius you pour out of a bottle.

If that's what passes for genius these days, I'll stick to being completely batty, thankyouverymuch.

Re:To be expected (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41710725)

And I would submit that this is intentional. The more the waters are muddied about the differences between the two operating systems, the larger the potential launch volume. And then you have a bunch of people out there who already own the product and are trying to make it work, giving additional motivation to vendors to port to it.

The more likely result is a bunch of angry customers returning their Surface RT devices to the store after finding that they don't do what they thought they would.

Using near-monopoly advantage (1)

jd659 (2730387) | about 2 years ago | (#41710289)

The point of Microsoft’s Win8 (and WinRT tablets) is not to develop some awesome next generation UI, but rather to leverage its near-monopoly advantage and convince people to buy tablets that sound as if they could be the replacement for the current desktops. All the review articles seem to be pointing in that direction touting that you “should get a Windows tablet that runs everything.” The side that says “start developing new Metro applications or you will be left behind” misses the point that the Metro UI is not better for the desktop. Furthermore, Microsoft made the original desktop a second class citizen in Windows 8, complicating switching between programs or starting new programs. Enough inconvenience for the current users in hopes to drive the adoption for the new UI model. While the model works well for the touch enabled devices, it is a poor choice for the desktop or any large-screen workstations.

Re:Using near-monopoly advantage (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41710741)

And this is why the Metro push is an abuse of monopoly power, and should never have been permitted. Microsoft is trying to use their existing desktop monopoly to leverage extra market share in a different field (tablets and smartphones), using the new Metro API as a weapon, and degrading customer experience in the process. This should have been stopped by the FTC and European Union before it reached the point of release.

At $499, 'switching' will be easy (4, Interesting)

david.emery (127135) | about 2 years ago | (#41710331)

If this article is right and Windows 8 ends up confusing and thereby pissing off consumers, I think this will be a huge win for Apple and Android. When you plopped $1k-$2k for a computer (in the olden days :-) and then added several $50-$150 software packages, the cost to abandon that platform is significant. But when your expenditures are in the $500-$600 range, tablet and apps, it'll be a lot easier to put the tablet up on eBay and go buy an alternative.

And the associated risks for Microsoft, let's call it the "horns effect*," could be catastrophic. People will say, "I gave Microsoft a chance for this new item, they suck. I'm not throwing more money at them. Look at how much I've spent on Windows computers/applications over the last 10+ years! Fool me twice, shame on me!" This really is a 'bet-the-company' move by Ballmer & Co (and of course we have 12 years of history of Microsoft under Ballmer to project from...)

* opposite of the "halo effect"

Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41710341)

Consumers that are still dumb enough to buy a Windows device deserve to get burned. Microsoft has been playing the whole world as fools for many years and yet very few people actually seem to mind.

Just look at the idiotic Iranian government, running their nuclear program on Windows. What the fuckin' fuck? I wonder when they will figure out the source of their technical issues?

DUMMMMMMMMMMMB. Just like the rest of you Windows users.

Microsoft is like a scabby hooker who hangs out on the corner, and you idiots are the johns who can't figure out why, even though you've gone to the doctor and had your cock-itch cured 1500 times already, you somehow keep getting a fuckin' STD. In order to feel better, you go pay the scabby hooker another $50 and you don't use a condom, and then you wonder how the heck your cock could be itchy again in the morning.

At this point, if you buy Windows, you deserve to get burned as punishment for being stupid and for failure to learn from your mistakes.

True true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710355)

I recently exchanged a couple of flames with a journalist because he wrote in an article that "The differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 are minor." I pointed out that Windows RT that Win32 is deprecated on it. It has a new API WinRT and I don't consider that a minor difference. He didn't get it "because the regular consumer wouldn't care about such details". So they don't care about the lack of apps perhaps? He still didn't get it...

Some consumers are going to care that you call something "Windows" and it doesn't run "Windows" applications like it used to. Windows RT will only run Microsoft approved Windows Store applications and I don't consider that a minor difference.

Perhaps the confusion is going to do us nerds a favor if the lock-down is shitty perhaps we could get our hands on some cheap nice hardware?

Yeah, those are the ones who know what it is. (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#41710405)

> Moreover, those reps who did admit issues
> seemed dismissive of Windows RT as a whole.

Right, so those are the reps who know enough about Microsoft's fringe products to actually know what Windows RT is. Of course they're dismissive. It's an OEM-only OS intended exclusively for mobile devices. Since almost all mobile devices run either iOS or Android, and most of the rest run some custom OS produced by the device manufacturer, it's not surprising to me that half of Microsoft's own sales reps don't know anything about their mobile-only offering. How many of their sales reps five or ten years ago could explain Windows CE? Does anyone care?

It's a trap (4, Interesting)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#41710529)

Windows RT is just there to make things difficult for Android table makers. The "consumers" that buy them are merely colateral damage.

Confusion? Maybe? Pissed off customers? Unlikely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41710599)

1) Windows RT devices are few and far between to begin with, most customers will be getting traditional x86 devices when they upgrade.
2) Most people don't use a lot of their Windows applications outside of Office and the browser, and the rest will be filled in with the Metro apps, so consumers will likely not be pissed off...yes, get this, most people aren't power users.

Microsoft's -real- mistake here is not killing the desktop off entirely in RT...it's still there, that's where Office resides, otherwise it's useless, don't even let people have the confusion when they test demos, period. Another mistake is the inability to join network domains...but that's another story.

Isn't it ironic ? (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about 2 years ago | (#41710865)

A lot of people will potentially hate Windows 8 because they try to cram a tablet interface into a desktop OS.

A lot of people will potentially hate Windows tablet because they thought with an OS that is also available on the desktop, that this also means they can run the same apps as on the desktop.

Instead of calling it "unified vision" they need to call it "unified shooting in your two feet" vision.

Yes there will be a lot of confusion when some tablets can run their apps and some don't. Most non techies don't care or even know about different architectures. And when the general public becomes aware that not all tablets can run their apps, the only thing they will see is that you will have "non" expensive tablets that are crippled in their eyes and expensive tablets that can run their apps. Not a positive image for Microsoft.

The difference between iOS/Android is that their is a clear distinction between the desktop OS and the mobile OS. Some things that gets into OS X for example, is very subtle. With Windows Microsoft made the decision to make it unified which is nice if you have platforms that are compatible, but if you mix x86 with ARM it gets confusing fast.
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